What Evidence-Based Practice Will Help Your Child with Special Needs Have a Great School Year?

What Evidence-Based Practice Will Help Your Child with Special Needs Have a Great School Year?

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I don’t know about you but school is back in session for me!!!! Our special education cooperative is now on a balanced calendar which means we started back to school at the end of July!!!

The promise of a great new school year has begun and with this new beginning, it’s time to get things set up so that your students start off in a positive way!

So what evidence-based practice can help insure a great start?

Work Systems!

It’s a term coined by the folks from TEACCH and it has been identified as one of the 24 best practices by the National Professional Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders. 

This week and next, I’m giving you a taste of what a work system looks like for students with both lower and higher cognitive abilities.  It can be very concrete or quite abstract depending upon the needs of the child.

Take a look at this week’s examples of three work systems for students with moderate/severe disabilities!
Several years ago, I walked into a middle school classroom with students who had moderate cognitive disabilities and where they had not yet heard of a work system for students.  There was a young man who had an assistant helping him do everything.  I said to the assistant, “What can he do by himself?”  Her answer was, “nothing”.

I said to her, “Yes, he can do something by himself”, but she insisted that he could not.  I was not about to give up, so I asked what this student liked to do.

“Oh he loves to do number puzzles.” , she replied.  Bingo!  It wasn’t academics, but it was something he could do by himself!!  So I set up a work system where a number puzzle was placed in a work tray and then set up a finished tray for him to put the puzzle when he was done. business magic spells

A beginning!  We moved on from there and found that he was able to do more than just puzzles by himself once he understood how the system worked.  By the end of the school year, this student was doing four and five academic tasks independently at his desk!!!

If we want to build independence, boost self-esteem, and lower anxiety, a work system is the way to go!  Students have to be able to work independently if they are ever going to have a job (paid or not) and take care of many of their own needs.

So here’s to the start of a new school year, with a tool that can easily be put in place. 

I know I need to know what my work system is each day and so do you if you think about it.  Why not make this valuable tool available to all of our students? 

Once I learned about this wonder tool, I don’t miss an opportunity to share it with all teachers, parents, job coaches, therapists etc!

Get off to a great start this year!  Here we go! 




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